Getting Started with Fitness after Bariatric Surgery After weight loss surgery, it’s imperative that you make physical activity a part of your normal routine. Transitioning into a lifestyle of consistent physical fitness is going to take a lot of hard work and effort, but you can do it! After you’ve recovered from your weight loss surgery and your weight loss surgeon has cleared you for exercise, go through these steps and you’ll find it easier to increase your activity bit by bit.
Step One: Identify benefits:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce blood pressure
- Maintain or lose weight
- Sleep better
- Increase productivity
- Decrease anxiety and/or depression
- Reduce risks of heart disease and certain cancers
- Improve flexibility and balance
- Improve self body image
- Timeout for yourself
Step Two: Recognize obstacles:
Time: Schedule your activity time the same as any other appointment or meeting. Where in your day can you make time to gain the benefits you identified? Keep the scheduled time consistent. It’s easier if you have a standing appointment with yourself whether at 6AM or 6PM.
Too tired: Chances are you’ll feel more energized when you finish. Get going and workout for 10 minutes. If at the end of the 10 minutes, you are still too tired, then you can stop.
No exercise experience: Walking works or find a qualified personal trainer to develop a tailored program for you after weight loss surgery.
No accountability: Find a workout partner, one who won’t let you off the hook. Making a commitment to meet means you are more likely to show up.
Choose an appropriate activity and select something you enjoy doing and that’s within your fitness level to make transitioning easier.
Step Four: Set realistic goals.
It can be discouraging if you set yourself up to fail from the start. If you are just beginning to work out after bariatric surgery, schedule two to three days of activity a week rather than four to five days.
Step Five: Track your progress. Log your minutes of activity for the days you engage in physical fitness. Compete with yourself to increase your time until you reach your goal. The USDA physical activity guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Discuss an appropriate amount of daily fitness time with your weight loss surgeon before attempting to follow these guidelines.
Step Six: Reward yourself.
Give yourself a reason to succeed with a nonfood reward.
After weight loss surgery, transitioning into daily physical activity will take time but remember to be patient and take each day as it comes. Make sure your exercise goals are realistic as well as attainable after weight loss surgery to remain motivated and on track with your weight loss goals.